Ideas and Politics in Social Science Research

Ideas and Politics in Social Science Research

by Daniel Beland
     
 

Writing about ideas, John Maynard Keynes noted that they are "more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else." One would expect, therefore, that political science—a discipline that focuses specifically on the nature of power—would have a healthy respect for the role of ideas. However, for a variety of reasons

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Overview

Writing about ideas, John Maynard Keynes noted that they are "more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else." One would expect, therefore, that political science—a discipline that focuses specifically on the nature of power—would have a healthy respect for the role of ideas. However, for a variety of reasons—not least of which is the influence of rational choice theory, which presumes that individuals are self-maximizing rational actors—this is not the case, and the literature on the topic is fairly thin. As the stellar cast of contributors to this volume show, ideas are in fact powerful shapers of political and social life.

In Ideas and Politics in Social Science Research, Daniel Béland and Robert Henry Cox have gathered leading scholars from a variety of subdisciplines in political science and sociology to provide a general overview of the theoretical, empirical, and methodological issues raised by social science research on ideas and politics. Throughout, they hone in on three central questions. What is the theoretical basis for studying ideas in politics? What are the best methods? What sort of empirical puzzles can be solved by examining ideas and related phenomena such as discourse, policy paradigms, and framing processes? In sum, this is a state-of-the-art academic work on both the role of ideas in politics and the analytical utility that derives from studying them.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199736430
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
12/14/2010
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Ideas and Politics, Daniel Béland and Robert Henry Cox
Part One: Theory
1. The Varied Roles of Ideas in Politics: From "Whether" to "How", Jal Mehta
2. Reconciling Ideas and Institutions Through Discursive Institutionalism, Vivien A. Schmidt
3. Ideas and the Construction of Interests, Colin Hay
4. Ideas, Uncertainty and Evolution, Mark Blyth
Part Two: Analysis
5. Ideology, History and Politics, Sheri Berman
6. Ideas, Position, and Supranationality, Craig Parsons
7. Ideas, Policy Change and the Welfare State, Daniel Wincott
8. Knowledge Regimes and Comparative Political Economy, John Campbell and Ove K. Pedersen
9. Ideas, Expertise and Think Tanks, Andrew Rich
10. Ideas and Institutions in Race Politics, Robert C. Lieberman

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